Where have the deer gone?
I am getting this question a lot on Facebook. Hunters who were checking their trail cams and seeing photos of deer in November, are finding blank memory cards in December. Those hunting the same spots as they were during the rut are not seeing much activity.
On the other hand, hunters who are lucky enough to have some late season food sources preferred by deer probably ain’t short on deer sightings.
These are often the circumstances of the late season. It is either feast or famine. Any grain fields still standing are going to attract deer. Deer need carbs during the winter and soybean, wheat and cornfields are prime feeding areas.
Those that do not have the luxury of hunting around agricultural fields may find some deer coming back to the acorn flats to scavenge on the leftovers – especially if they are red acorns. Red acorns have higher tannic acid content, and while the deer do not love the bitter taste of the chemicals, they will munch on them when the white acorns have rotted or are depleted in the late season. If you are hunting hardwoods, look for some red acorns to hang your stand over.
Of course, you could have also done your homework in the early fall and planted some cool season food plots. If you did, I bet you are reaping the benefits. If you didn’t, let this serve as reminder for next year. I will always plant some of my land with some Winter PZ from Evolved Harvest. These peas are sweet as soon as the pop out of the ground and will continue to grow through the winter and into the late spring, producing food for your herd when forage is hardest to find.
I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but the key success in the late season is to hunt around the food – or at least the trails leading to the food. Do this and I promise you will see more deer. Maybe even that buck you asked Santa for.